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Scientific Name:
Melissa officinalis
Family Name:
Lamiaceae
Common Name:
lemon balm
Evidence for Efficacy (Human Data)
Traditional and Folk Use
One hundred fifty-six plant species, used for the treatment of 16 disease categories, demonstrated the importance of shared knowledge of herbal therapies among Kurdish communities in Sarvabad County, Iran with Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) one of the most frequently cited plant species with the highest use report. . Hosseini 2022
Melissa officinalis is one of the medicinal plants most frequently used for the treatment of nervous disorders in North Khorasan Province of Iran, according to an ethnobotanical study. Nadaf 2019
An observational study conducted in a Brazilian city found lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) to be the most frequently used medicinal plant species, with the majority of users using it as a tea. Melro 2019
Melissa officinalis and/or Matricaria chamomilla infusions were a typical self-medication practice among single, middle-aged, male psychiatric outpatients with a secondary education degree, in Serbia. Nikolić 2018
In non-psychotic psychiatric patients in southeastern Serbia, using herbal products for anxiety, depression and insomnia, Melissa officinalis one of the most used self-medication products (the others being Mentha × piperita, Hypericum perforatum and Valeriana officinalis). Stojanović 2017
Lemon balm, chamomile, peppermint, and lime were the most frequently used home remedies by individuals in the State of Santa Catarina, Brazil, according to the cross-sectional, observational and epidemiological study. [Article in Portuguese] Zeni 2017
Constituents of traditional Persian aromatic soft drinks (hydrosols), including those prepared with lemon balm, were determined. Differences between the chemical profiles of essential oils and the corresponding hydrosols were noted. Hamedi 2017
Melissa officinalis was among the three most popular medicinal plants used by adults in a Brazilian city district. Griz 2017
The study of herbal use throughout pregnancy identified lemon balm as one of the most popular herbs, in the South of Italy. Trabace 2015
Melissa officinalis among other medicinal plants were used for treatment of fleas in cats and dogs by small-scale, organic livestock farmers in British Columbia, Canada. Lans 2008
[Up close. Melissa Reddoch.Interview by Sarah Quails.] Reddoch 2007
Among 126 reported traditional medicinal plants from Kirklareli Province in Turkey, the most used plants include Melissa officinalis subsp. officinalis, Juglans regia, and Thymus longicaulis subsp. longicaulis var. subisophyllus. Kültür 2007
Review on natural remedies for Herpes simplex revealed that common treatments include lysine, vitamin C, zinc, vitamin E, adenosine monophosphate, and lemon balm (Melissa officinalis). Gaby 2006
An evidence-based systematic review of Lemon balm including folkloric precedent, history, pharmacology, kinetic/dynamics, interactions, adverse effect, toxicology, and dosing was carried out. Ulbricht 2005
A review on traditionally used herbal remedies for minor sleep disturbances revealed that Littleleaf linden, vervain, melissa and orange flower have no demonstrated efficacy in management of insomnia but are safe and have no apparent adverse effects. [No authors listed] 2005
Review on traditional medicine in Sakarya province (Turkey) and antimicrobial activities of selected species shows that the most used plants were Artemisia absinthium, Equisetum telmateia, Lavandula stoechas, Melissa officinalis, Tussilago farfara and Urtica dioica. Uzun 2004
Old European reference books on medicinal herbs document a variety of plants such as Salvia officinalis (sage) and Melissa officinalis (balm) as having memory-improving properties and cholinergic activities which have recently been identified in extracts of these plants. Perry 1999
Search for ethnobotanical uses of Melissa in Dr. Duke's Phytochem and Ethnobot DB
Monograph in "A Modern Herbal" by Mrs. M. Grieve at botanical.com
History of Record
ORIGINAL RESEARCH BY: Michael C. Tims, PhD. Candidate
March 2002
MAJOR REVISION BY: J Mohanasundaram, MD, PhD
October 2007
LATEST UPDATES BY: Julie Dennis
November 2022